A heat pump water heater provides your home with hot water like a conventional unit. Instead of burning fossil fuels to generate heat that warms the water, it moves heat from one place to another. This process uses much less energy, meaning lower bills and less environmental impact.
If you're familiar with ductless mini splits or heat pumps for heating and cooling your home, then you're already familiar with how heat pumps work. In this case, it's heating your water instead of your home.
For many people, it's a step toward electrifying your home: After getting rid of the gas furnace, you'll use a small amount of electricity for your water heating, too.
Or, if this is all new to you, you're in the right place!
In this article, we'll walk you through:
And, if you'd like to learn more about how one of these might work in your Fox River Valley home, call or email us today at Compass Heating and Air! We offer free consultations to help you learn more about your options for better home comfort with excellent energy efficiency.
If you're familiar with how heat pumps warm your home, the heat transfer process for a water heater is the same. The only difference is that it's heating the water you'll use in your sinks, showers, and dishwashers.
If you don't know that much about these systems, here's how they work:
A heat pump doesn't use combustion to create warmth — like burning oil, natural gas, or propane. Nor does it use a lot of electricity to heat coils — like an electric furnace, baseboard heaters, or even a toaster.
Instead, they gather heat from outside, amplify it, and send it inside to the water heater. That's the heat that warms up the water. It's thermal energy that was already there, and the system moves it from one place to another.
Even when it's freezing outside, there's still some heat in the air. And, that's all these systems need to do the job. They draw in that thermal energy, which warms up a coolant liquid inside the system.
In the case of a water heater, the heat pump is located in the house. So, it draws heat from the room where you installed it.
The result? Warm water at a fraction of the cost you pay for a conventional heater. It costs much less for a machine to move heat from one place to another — much less than it does to burn fossil fuels.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, these models are two to three times more energy-efficient than conventional water heaters.
Most heat pump water heaters last 13 to 15 years. That's slightly more than conventional systems. Their average lifespans are 8 to 12 years. While they cost more upfront, you'll more than make up for that upfront investment over the next decade-plus.
Heat pump water heaters usually cost between $1,500 and $2,500. The price depends on size and efficiency. By contrast, the top price for a conventional unit is around $1,000. But, you can find rebates to bring down the cost. And, you'll save money in the long run.
While these ease your initial investment, there are the monthly savings you'll enjoy. Where conventional units cost between $400 and $800 annually to operate, you can pay as little as $225 annually to run your heat pump unit.
Heat pumps offer the same benefits as conventional units when delivering hot water. The difference is you'll pay much less on your energy bills. If there's one drawback, it's that you'll notice the air is colder in the room where you install it. That's because the system draws ambient heat to do the job.
After that, let's see how they stack up against other models:
You'll get the same service from a heat pump water heater as you will with gas. Some people have reported a slight humming sound when the system is working, but other than that, you won't notice a difference at the faucet.
Once again, however, you'll pay much less for that service.
The significant advantage of a tankless water heater versus conventional is that you get hot water instantly when you turn on the tap. That's because these units heat the water as soon as you need it. That's different from storing hot water. In that case, the water in your pipes cools down, which is why you have to wait for it to heat up.
A heat pump water heater won't deliver hot water any faster than a traditional furnace. But, you'll still get better energy savings even over tankless.
Tankless is considered more efficient for two reasons: It doesn't need constant energy to keep dozens of gallons of water warm all the time. And, people use less water because they don't ruin it for a minute or so, waiting for warm water.
However, it still uses conventional electric heating to do the job. That's more energy than the heat pump requires.
As a Mitsubishi Elite Diamond Dealer and Daikin Comfort Pro, Compass Heating and Air is the local expert for heat pump installation and other electrification projects. We serve homes and businesses in Bloomingdale, IL, and across the Fox River Valley. Click below or call us at (630) 504-8688.